New restaurants aren’t only places where we eat; they dominate dinner conversation, too. Talking about chefs, food, farms, farmers and the newest, weirdest edible trends is our national pastime. Today, what and where you’ve eaten shapes your identity. You are judged by the ramen you slurp and the latte you sip.
Inside this story—the best new restaurants and dishes from the past year—is a small snapshot of what’s out there. (We didn’t include major players already winning accolades, like Vienna’s Clarity, for example.) What you’ll find here are some restaurants you already love and, hopefully, some you’ll be excited to get to know.